Virus-hit Italy hosts Poland without coach and star forward

Without its coach and star forward, Italy can’t afford to lose against Poland in what could be a decisive Nations League clash on Sunday. They meet at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia knowing that victory for either side will likely send it to the Nations League finals.

Poland tops Group 1 in League A. It is a point above Italy and two above the Netherlands. Italy plays in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Wednesday, while Poland hosts the Netherlands.

Italy has been beset by problems heading into these qualifiers, mainly to do with the coronavirus.

Coach Roberto Mancini is still at home in Rome self-isolating after contracting COVID-19, as is Lazio forward Ciro Immobile, last season’s European Golden Shoe winner.

Mancini will again be replaced by assistant coach Alberigo Evani, who was in charge on Wednesday when Estonia was beaten 4-0 in a friendly.

“It’s not an easy period for any of us,” Italy defender Emerson said. “This season is a bit different from past ones.

“Our coach is unfortunately at home, but those of us who are here must do all that we can for those who can’t be.” Italy midfielder Roberto Gagliardini left the Azzurri camp on Saturday after a possible return of the virus. Gagliardini had the virus last month but recovered. He played all of Wednesday’s match but an inconclusive test result has forced him to return to his club Inter Milan as a precaution.

Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci will return to Juventus on Sunday after failing to recover from a muscular injury.

“I’ve asked too much from my body because we had injuries at Juventus that didn’t allow us to rotate,” said Bonucci, who was hoping to make his 100th appearance for Italy.

“I’m someone who never pulls back and I played through the pain for some important matches. I’m 33 years old and I’m starting to listen to my body.” Italy forwards Moise Kean and Pietro Pellegri withdrew from the squad on Friday because of injury. Kean was replaced by Udinese forward Stefano Okaka.

Italy drew in Poland 0-0 last month.

Victory for either Italy or Poland would give it a significant advantage heading into the final round of fixtures but qualification would by no means be a foregone conclusion.

Italy drew at home to Bosnia in the opening round, ending an 11-match winning streak, while Poland lost to the Netherlands.

Disclaimer: This post has not been edited by our staff and is published from a syndicated feed. The Original Source of this post can be found at Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Mann ki Baat | PM calls for 100-day campaign to clean up water bodies, harvest rain water

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said water has been crucial for the development of humankind for centuries. Underlining the importance...

Jal Shakti Ministry to launch ‘Catch the Rain’ campaign: PM Modi...

PM conveyed his greetings on National Science Day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about water conservation on his monthly Mann Ki Baat programme. He said...

Coronavirus updates: Active case count hits zero, Arunachal turns coronavirus-free

Early on Sunday, the United States authorities cleared a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that works with just one dose instead of two.The FDA...

Coronavirus | India records 16,752 fresh COVID-19 cases, biggest single-day jump...

The death toll mounted to 1,57,051 with 113 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. India’s COVID-19 tally climbed to 1,10,96,731 on February...

Biden says he will make announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday

President Joe Biden on Saturday said his administration would make an announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday, following a U.S. intelligence report that found...

More Articles